They are the star among the amino acids in the fitness and bodybuilding scene: BCAA. Everyone demands them and they are said to have an enormous effect. But what exactly are they and what can you hope for when you take BCAA? We answer these questions in this blog post.
What are BCAA?
The abbreviation BCAA stands for "Branch Chain Amino Acids" and is the generic term for the three amino acids leucine, isoleucine and valine.
These three are essential amino acids. This means that your body cannot produce them itself and you have to take them in with your food.
Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins and therefore of your muscles, cells and tissues. You have read correctly: no amino acids = no muscles!
For healthy muscle building and fitness you have to make sure that your body is supplied with sufficient amino acids, especially the essential ones.
What effect is BCAA said to have?
The potential of BCAA and its effects have been scientifically investigated in various studies. Here is an overview of the most relevant effects:
- reduce the breakdown of muscle proteins after sport or during the diet
- support recovery after training
- promote muscle building by increasing protein synthesis
- increase performance during long-term use
- support the maintenance of a healthy immune system
Sounds great, but what exactly does that mean? And which studies prove this effect?
We have compiled the BCAA study results for you:
"BCAA reduce the breakdown of muscle proteins after exercise or during the diet."
Let's start directly with the most important effect of BCAA: they prevent you from "burning" muscles after exercise or during the diet. If you're afraid of the catabolic devil during the definition phase, BCAA is just the thing for you.
A permanent calorie deficit in your diet not only leads to fat loss. Your body desperately searches for energy and uses amino acids, which your muscles will painfully miss during protein synthesis.
Studies have shown that BCAA (especially the amino acid leucine) can minimize this negative effect by stimulating protein synthesis. Here you will find a selection of studies:
"BCAA promote muscle building by increasing protein synthesis."
As indicated earlier, it has been shown that leucine in particular is a decisive factor in protein synthesis. Protein synthesis describes the formation of new proteins in cells. Without protein synthesis there is no muscle building!
So that your body can synthesize muscle proteins, it must be supplied with sufficient building material, the amino acids. Of course, the essential amino acids, which you cannot produce yourself, are very important.
BCAA in the form of pure amino acids are available for protein synthesis immediately after absorption.
If you could follow up to here, this argument is just the logical conclusion. Intense weight training causes small cracks in your muscles. You feel these as sore muscles and your body has to heal the cracks.
This is where the BCAAAs come into play again, acting as quickly available building blocks for your muscles when you take them during or after training.
"BCAA help maintain a healthy immune system."
BCAA are a real all-rounder, because in addition to their effects on your training success, the three amino acids also have a positive effect on your immune system.
How much BCAA do I need to take advantage of the benefits?
Here opinions are divided, but most experts recommend a total amount of BCAA of 20-30g daily. This should be taken throughout the day in 3-6 doses of 5-10g each.
In which foods can I find BCAA?
BCAA are present in a number of high quality protein sources. Here is an overview of important proteins and their BCAA content:
Translation for chart:
1. JoyBräu non-alcoholic (1 serving = 0,33l)
2. chicken breast (1 serving = 170g)
3. lean beef (1 serving = 170g)
4. salmon (1 serving = 170g)
5. tuna (1 serving = 170g)
6. protein shake (1 serving = 0,33l
Why BCAA as a dietary supplement?
You are wondering why you should take BCAA if you can theoretically take enough through your normal high protein diet? Very good question!
Concentrated BCAA do not have to be metabolized extra and are directly available to your body! This means that you can immediately benefit from the effect.
That's why we at JoyBräu focus on high-quality BCAA, which you can absorb directly and super efficiently. Each bottle provides you with 10g of it!